Frequency of Unruptured Cerebral Aneurysms in Chinese Patients

Summary and Comment |
October 15, 2013

Frequency of Unruptured Cerebral Aneurysms in Chinese Patients

  1. Seemant Chaturvedi, MD

A magnetic resonance angiography study of the general population aged 35 to 75 confirms previous prevalence findings.

  1. Seemant Chaturvedi, MD

Cerebral aneurysms are the leading cause of nontraumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage. Identifying and, in selected cases, treating unruptured aneurysms could be beneficial for patients at high risk for aneurysm rupture. These investigators sought to identify the frequency of unruptured brain aneurysms in two districts of Shanghai. They identified 5080 eligible individuals aged 35 to 75, of whom 4813 underwent a brain magnetic resonance angiography study with a 3.0-T magnet and had a usable image.

Overall, 7.0% of patients had at least one unruptured aneurysm. Aneurysms were significantly more common in women than men (8.6% vs. 5.5%) and peaked in frequency in the 55-to-64-year-old age group (9.1%). Most aneurysms were small (<5 mm) and located in the distal internal carotid artery. Only 2 of 369 aneurysms were >10 mm.


This study is broadly consistent with prior reports. In particular, most aneurysms were small, and the frequency was greater in women, as documented in multiple previous studies. Longitudinal information on rupture rates would be of interest. Unless there are compelling reasons, such as two or more first-degree relatives with a nontraumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage, screening for cerebral aneurysms generally is not indicated.

  • Disclosures for Seemant Chaturvedi, MD at time of publication Consultant / Advisory board Abbott Vascular; Boeringher-Ingelheim; Genentech; Thornhill Research Grant / research support Pfizer Editorial boards Neurology; Stroke Leadership positions in professional societies American Academy of Neurology (Vice Chair of Vascular Neurology Section)


Reader Comments (2)

Ebad Ansari Physician, Urology, Ansari Medical Clinic, Abu Dhabi

Very informative and useful.

Janine Hein, M.D. Physician, Family Medicine/General Practice

Frightening: leads me to wonder prevalence of patients that may have morbidity &/or mortality attributed to "simple" TIA or stroke which was not further investigated, and is actually undiagnosed ruptured aneurism as opposed to classic CV variants of ischemic events. For example, may death certificates here in the US are labeled as MI when we in fact it is based on risk factors & not confirmed.

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